The Hermitage Artist Retreat, along with its partner the Aspen Music Festival and School, is proud to announce that Thomas Kotcheff was just presented with the 2014 Hermitage Prize

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L to R: Hermitage Executive Director Bruce E. Rodgers,Composer and Pianist Thomas Kotcheff and Aspen Music Festival and School Music Director Robert Spano

The Hermitage Artist Retreat, along with its partner the Aspen Music Festival and School, is proud to announce that Thomas Kotcheff was just presented with the 2014 Hermitage PrizeAugust 15, 2014

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2014 HERMITAGE PRIZE

AWARDED AT ASPEN MUSIC FESTIVAL & SCHOOL

The Hermitage Artist Retreat, along with its partner the Aspen Music Festival and School, is proud to announce that Thomas Kotcheff was just presented with the 2014 Hermitage Prize. The award is given annually to a composition student participating in the summer program at the Susan and Ford Schumann Center for Composition Studies with the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen. The Prize consists of a six-week Hermitage residency and a $1,000 stipend to cover travel and food expenses. Kotcheff was

selected from among his peers by Robert Spano, music director, Alan Fletcher, president and CEO and composers-in-residence Sydney Hodkinson, Steven Stucky and George Tsontakis.

“We are so proud to have the Hermitage Prize as part of the Aspen Music Festival and School,” remarked Bruce Rodgers, Hermitage Executive Director. “These ‘students’ are already on their way to impressive careers with a multitude of recognized work under their belts. They will be the Robert Spanos, Sydney Hodkinsons, Steven Stuckys and George Tsontakis’ of tomorrow. It’s very exciting and rewarding to have them with us at this juncture.”

In his remarks regarding the Prize, Alan Fletcher commented that the Hermitage Prize was an extraordinary addition to the Aspen program. “Being able to go to an artist retreat is one of the most wonderful experiences an artist can have for three reasons. One, it gives you uninterrupted time and takes you away from your everyday life. Two, you are supported by a staff who wants you to succeed. Three, it’s an opportunity to live among other artists of all disciplines who support each other with a real interest and understanding of making art.”

Thomas Kotcheff is a successful composer and new music pianist based in Los Angeles. He has received commissions from the Los Angeles Philharmonic Committee, University of Southern California’s Thornton Edge, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Peabody Institute’s Peabody Camerata, Trio Appassionata and Sandbox Percussion. The Presser Foundation Award was given to Kotcheff for his piano trio gone into the night. He holds degrees in composition and piano performance from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Southern California, where he is currently working on his doctorate in music composition.

“I am very honored and excited to receive the Hermitage Prize,” Kotcheff remarked. “Presently, I am dedicating myself to my commissions and premiering new piano works. Even before the Prize, I had decided to take a year off from my studies to work on my music. This could not have come at a better time.”

The Hermitage Prize was first awarded in 2013. The idea came about during a residency for Robert Spano, music director of the Atlanta Symphony and the Aspen Music Festival and School. He and Hermitage Executive Director Bruce Rodgers talked about the benefits such an award could provide for a summer participant in Aspen.

At this year’s award announcement, Spano remarked, “I have been the beneficiary of what the Hermitage Artist Retreat offers. It has had a great impact on my work and it is a place that is very close to my heart. I’m thrilled that this experience can be offered to young, talented composers who are just beginning their careers.”

About the Hermitage Artist Retreat: The Hermitage is a not-for-profit artist retreat located at 6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood, FL. It invites accomplished painters, sculptors, writers, playwrights, poets, composers and other artists from all over the world for residencies on its beachfront historic campus. Artists are asked to contribute two services to the community during their stay and as a result, Hermitage artists touch thousands of Gulf Coast community residents with unique and inspiring programs each year. In addition, the Hermitage awards and administers the prestigious Greenfield Prize, an annual $30,000 commission for a new work of art, rotating among three disciplines: visual art, music and drama. The Hermitage also partners with the Aspen Music Festival and School to award the annual Hermitage Prize to a composition student during the Festival. For more information about The Hermitage Artist Retreat, call 941-475-2098 or visit the website at www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.

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